Many pull-ups (24)
by Rob Tiller
Yesterday I did 24 pull-ups. This equals my all time best from last December. It’s difficult to note this fact without seeming to brag, and I hate bragging, but I note it anyway, because I myself find it hard to believe this is possible at age 53. I could not have come close to this feat at age 24.
I began doing pull-ups perhaps eight years ago. Why? I liked the combined simplicity and drama of the exercise. Years ago there was a recruiting ad for the Marines that consisted mainly of a young man doing many pull-ups, and it made an impression. I liked the fact and the symbol of pulling my own weight. Plus, it seemed like a good challenge. But it was difficult. My initial goal was ten, and I had reason to doubt that could ever be achieved. Getting more than five took a while. I remember hurting my wrists and giving up for a period when I got to nine.
Eventually when aiming for 10, I suddenly made it to 12. I wondered what it would feel like to do 15. When aiming for that, one day I did 17. I started to wonder about 20.
Recently I’ve been doing about 20 three times a week. I cycle through three different grips: inward, front-facing, and back-facing. My highest numbers are generally with the inward grip, and this was what I used yesterday. I did the pull-ups after core exercises and 25 minutes of cardio, but before other upper-body resistance exercises. My current goal is 25. That should be enough. We’ll see.